Use of P200-B Malampaya fund, up to Congress – DBM

UNTV News   •   November 9, 2017   •   4514

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is ready to cooperate with any investigation that will be initiated on the controversial Malampaya fund.

This stemmed from the Commission on Audit report that questioned the use of 184 Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) amounting to around P38-billion.

The said orders were done under the Arroyo and Aquino administrations.

A big chunk of the fund were allocated to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Agriculture.

The Malampaya fund was designed to be used exclusively for exploration activities and other activities related to energy resources.

“So when you release money for construction of roads, or maybe even giving subsidy for drivers, the jeepney drivers, to me that is not the appropriate use of the fund, right?” said DBM Sec. Benjamin Diokno.

To date, there are P200-billion left in the fund, which the DBM leaves to Congress to decide for its proper allocation.

“We have to change the purpose of that fund, because the government is no longer involved in this activity.  It’s a private sector or a joint venture activity. So that P200-billion fund, for all practical purposes, is very difficult to access that or used that, so might as well give it to the treasury and let Congress appropriate the money for our purposes,” Diokno said.

He added that they have not and will not conduct any changes in the guidelines on the use of the said controversial fund. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

PNP renders immediate help; AFP ready to assist earthquake victims in regions 11, 12

Maris Federez   •   October 17, 2019

Mlang Police Station personnel together with Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel, Mlang local government employees conduct post-earthquake damage inspection of buildings in Cotobato, Mindanao on Thursday, October 17, 2019.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 and 12 have deployed their personnel to the areas affected by the earthquake that hit several towns and cities on Wednesday night (Oct. 17).

They were sent to render assistance to the local government units in maintaining peace and order, and ensure that traffic will run smoothly to avoid delay in the supply of relief goods.

According to PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, police are also helping in the clearing operation in the affected buildings.

Banac added that the situation in the affected areas is still under control and there is still no need to send support units from the national headquarters.

“Ang kapulisan natin ay lumabas kaagad at nagbigay ng police presence para magbigay ng order, para maassure ang public na nandyan ang ating pamahalaan. Lahat ng available manpower. Yung iba ay umalalay sa local government units para mag rescue sa mga nasaktan na biktima,” Banac said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, said it is ready to deploy its personnel from the Engineering Brigade should the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) requests for it.

“Lahat naman ng ating AFP units within the area are on ready standby and with the close collaboration with the NDRRMC ready to be deployed at short notice naman, so far according to the NDRRMC ay capable pa naman yung LGU’s natin in responding to any requirements,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief, Capt. Jonathan Zata said.

Wednesday night’s tremor left 29 structures in Regions 11 and 12 with significant damage.

These malls include SM, Veranza Mall and Gaisano Mall in General Santos City, and the KCC Mall in Koronadal City.

Other structures that sustained damage were:

  • the Municipal Hall of Magsaysay in Davao Del Sur
  • the Sangguniang Bayan Building in M’Lang, Cotabato
  • the Roldan Hospital in M’Lang, Cotabato
  • the Fire Station in Makilala, Cotabato
  • and the Municipal Hospital in Carmen, Cotabato

(with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

DBM says 95% of 2019 budget released as of September

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported on Tuesday that it has released over 95% of the 2019 national budget as of September 30.

In a statement, the DBM said it has released P3.491 trillion of the P3.662 trillion for the 2019 obligation program, with P2.011 trillion allotment released to line departments.

“These include funds allocated for agencies in the Executive branch, Congress, the Judiciary, and other constitutional offices,” the department said.

The DBM added it also released special purpose funds (SPF) amounting to P317.882 billion.

SPFs are budgetary allocations in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) allotted for specific socio-economic purposes such as budgetary support to government corporations, allocation to local government units, contingent fund, miscellaneous personnel benefits fund, national disaster risk reduction and management fund, and pension and gratuity fund.

The department also reported that allotment releases for automatic appropriations, or appropriations programmed annually or for some other period prescribed by law, increased to P1.070 trillion.

These include the Internal Revenue Allotment of local government units, pension of ex-president/ex-president widows, net lending, interest payments, and tax expenditures fund/customs duties and taxes.

The DBM also released some P50.254 billion in payments for retirement and life insurance premium requirements. This is inclusive of P3.09 billion for additional requirements for newly-created or -filled positions in various agencies.

Likewise, the DBM reported it has released P25.043 billion from the continuing appropriations of the 2018 budget for line departments and releases from SPFs.

Continuing appropriations refer to appropriations available to support obligations for a specified purpose or project, such as multi-year construction projects which require the incurrence of obligations beyond one fiscal year. 

Some P40.481 billion have also been distributed in terms of unprogrammed or standby appropriations which authorize additional agency expenditures for priority programs and projects when revenue collections exceed the resource targets or when additional grants or foreign funds are generated.

Allotments for other automatic appropriations, amounting to P25.766 billion, have also been released, the DBM added.

The agency said the immediate release will “ensure that national government agencies are able to swiftly implement their programs and projects, such as the construction of new roads, schools, and hospitals, and the protection and promotion of the welfare of the poor and marginalized sectors, among others.”

The DBM, along with other agencies comprising the administration’s economic team, had to play catch up after the passage of the 2019 budget got stalled.

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte only signed the budget in April this year after Congress failed to pass it on time over alleged illegal fund insertions.

The delayed passage of the budget was blamed for the slowdown in government spending and the country’s economic growth in the first six months of 2019.

DA increases indemnity payment for pigs culled due to ASF to P5,000

Marje Pelayo   •   October 14, 2019

Culled pigs are hauled toward a collection truck after symptoms of African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected in the Pasong Tamo village of Quezon City, Philippines, 03 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) will now get P5,000 for each pig culled within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero where the deadly pig virus was detected.

So far, the Department of Agriculture (DA) already recorded more than 40,000 pigs culled due to ASF.

The DA is now strengthening its quarantine checkpoints in different parts of the country to stop the spread of the ASF virus.

On Friday (October 11), around 700 crates of pig products were seized in San Juanico Bridge in Tacloban City from Bulacan amounting to P1.6 million.

According to the Tacloban Veterinary Office, the products were confiscated for lack of necessary documents.

In his social media post, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Secretary Manny Piñol questioned why such shipment was able to pass the quarantine checkpoints in Matnog in Sorsogon and in Northern Samar.

The DA, meanwhile, said it is conducting an investigation on the matter.

“That is something that we have to find-out kung bakit nakalusot ito (why it passed slip the quarantine checkpoints),” said DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan.

Meat processors, on the other hand, fear of possible loss in income of up to P55 billion if the government will not impose a more concrete system in banning the transportation of pork products.

According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI), their products undergo proper food treatment to eliminate the ASF virus.

“Processed meats are not carriers of ASF,” explained PAMPI Spokesperson Rex Agarrado.

“Processed meats are all processed at temperatures that kill the organism,” he added. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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